EDITORIAL: Englade set shining example ofteerism

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Clara Englade, 93, of Reserve, was much more to the River Parishes community than the eldest volunteer in the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, including 10,000 volunteer hours over 19 years at River Parishes Hospital. She is a role model to other senior citizens and to people of all ages.

“I am the type of person that cannot sit down and watch television all day,” she told L’Observateur in a 1998 interview.

There are many who can testify to her energy, her enthusiasm and her example of what one person can do. “Whenever someone needed someone, she was there,” recalled Virginia Albert of RSVP. “She was a good communicator to those who needed help.”

While she was a fixture at River Parishes Hospital since it opened its doors in 1982, her desire to contribute to the community moved her to assist other seniors through AARP, local homemakers clubs, Catholic Daughters of America and the Louisiana Senior Olympics.

Indeed, her Olympics tally will be tough for anyone to match, with enough medals to cover her shirt since she began with that program in 1984, her specialty for many years being the long jump, but also competing in softball throw, discus, shotput, javelin and others.

Having raised four children, her life was always involved in school activities and programs. After the children were grown, her volunteerism grew with more time on her hands.

“She would tell other retirees to get up and volunteer,” Albert remembered, and added, “Her philosophy was to keep moving. I think her volunteering kept her young.”

But most of all, Albert said, “We’ll miss her smiling face.”